Trade & Tariffs Update

The recently imposed U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports as well as a group of products from China have prompted retaliatory action from Europ, Canada, Mexico, and China. This trade war has already resulted in higher costs for U.S. companies which rely on steel and aluminum inputs and job losses across industries whose exports now face retaliatory tariffs.

The Chamber, along with business organizations across the country, oppose tariffs as they are a tax on business and consumers. Past use of tariffs to protect specific industries, proved to be counterproductive resulting in increased cost of living, a drop in U.S. exports, a decrease in production and loss of jobs. The best way to aid domestic industries and increase access to foreign markets is through trade agreements.

This understanding has driven our advocacy for free trade. We have signed on to a letter in support of S. 3013, a bi-partisan bill sponsored by Sen. Corker and others that would require the President to submit to Congress any proposals to raise tariffs in the interest of national security under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The letter was sent to members of the U.S. Senate, sharing the concern of more than 270 industry trade associations, local chambers of commerce, and other business organizations on the retaliatory tariffs from our largest trading partners and closest allies, which will have serious negative economic impacts nationwide and diminish our global competitiveness. This effort was highlighted in an exclusive story by USA Today.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce conducted a state by state analysis of the impacts on U.S. exports. The analysis includes the list of California exports which will now face greater competition in foreign markets. In total, there are $562 million worth of California exports to Canada which will now face tariffs, $699 million in exports to Mexico, $4 billion in exports to China, and $383M in exports to Europe. The impact is significant as 4,869,200 California jobs are supported by global trade.

The Chamber will be sending an additional letter opposing tariffs on imports to the administration and Congress. To support this effort and add your name to this letter, please email Kenia Zamarripa.